The transition from spring to summer is an excellent time to explore Scotland before the peak crowds arrive. In June, the landscapes are fresh and green, the weather is warming up, and the days are extra long for enjoying an array of outdoor activities, from hiking and whisky tasting in the Highlands to sea kayaking off the west coast, perhaps with a whale sighting near the Isle of Mull.


In June, summer approaches with mild temperatures and more than 17 hours of daylight per day. Though this may sound ideal, there is a catch: the summer season brings midges (small biting insects) starting in June and peaking in July and August. Taken with the right planning and precautions, though, you can learn to avoid them, especially since they prefer humid, windless air and early morning and dusk.

Those traveling in western Scotland may benefit from the westerlies coming from the North Atlantic, though it depends on the wind and where you go. The east coast tends to receive less rain (and fewer midges), but summer can bring haar (sea fret) or cold fog from the North Sea. All this to say, it's wise to pack layers that can transition from warm sunshine to chilly clouds, wind, and rain. You'll also want to bring a waterproof jacket, an umbrella, and sturdy walking/hiking shoes that can handle some moisture.  

Temperatures are pretty consistent throughout Scotland and get cooler at higher elevations. Edinburgh typically reaches daily highs of 63°F (17°C) and lows of 48°F (9°C), while the UK's highest peak, Ben Nevis, located at 4,413 feet (1,345 m), will see average highs in the 45°F (7°C) range and lows of 36°F (2°C).

Crowds & Costs

June marks the beginning of Scotland's high season, especially around mid-month, when an influx of summer visitors arrive along with the year's highest prices for flights, accommodations, car rentals, and activities. If you hope to beat the crowds and snag deals, consider traveling midweek instead of the weekend.

You can also stick to the first half of the month when you will find more space at popular sights, as well as scenic roads, islands, beaches, and hiking trails. Keep in mind that the Scots have a bank holiday in either late May or early June, and there will be more locals traveling during this extended weekend.

Where to Go

June's weather and lengthy daylight hours are perfect for planning scenic outdoor adventures in Scotland. Consider this compact country in two parts: the Lowlands and the Highlands. You will likely start your trip by traveling through the Lowlands, in either Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, or Edinburgh, the smaller cosmopolitan capital. You could spend a few days exploring a city's parks and attractions—or both since it takes about an hour to get from one to the other.

It's easy to get to the Highlands in a few hours by car or train from either city, and a good place to start is Cairngorms National Park. Plant yourself in the village of Braemar for quick access to the hiking trails, or stay in charming Inverness for proximity to Loch Ness (note: both options are an hour's drive to famous castles and whisky distilleries). From here, take a lengthy road trip along Scotland's scenic North Coast 500, passing through white sandy beaches, rugged mountains, and remote fishing villages. If you have more time, take a ferry to the lesser-visited islands of Orkney and Shetland

Back in the Lowlands, Scotland's other national park is easily accessible from Glasgow, called Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. A bit further west is Oban, which provides ferry access to several Hebridean islands. Oban is also close to more lochs and stunning trails and waterfalls in Glencoe Valley. Consider taking the historic Jacobite Express Steam Train from here to get to the Isle of Skye for dramatic scenery and medieval castles.

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What to Do

You won't have to look hard to find a coastal walk or hiking trail in Scotland with options for all abilities, including families with little kids in tow. In Cairngorms National Park, enjoy a stroller-friendly flat route and then ride the funicular to the restaurant and visitor center. On the Isle of Skye, adults can navigate a rough and narrow coastal path while keeping an eye out for grey seals and sea birds, like puffins, on the clifftops.

For multi-day hikes, consider the Wild Highland Way at 96 miles (154 km) or an even longer route that runs the country's entire length, called the Scottish National Trail, at 537 miles (864 km). And let's not forget about Ben Nevis, the UK's highest peak, which can be ascended with a private guide in about four hours, passing through unique flora and fauna.

Scotland's beaches are a great attraction during the summer months, and you can choose between freshwater lochs or salty coasts. Dores Beach is located on Loch Ness with one of the best viewpoints for spotting Nessie, while the coastal beach West Sands in St Andrew's is considered one of the sunniest places in Britain (filmed during the opening scenes of "Chariots of Fire").

Other water activities include guided boat tours where you can spot native wildlife such as sea eagles, seals, and possibly dolphins and whales, especially around the rugged coast of Mull. You can also rent bicycles, take sea kayaking lessons, and hire seaplanes. No trip to the coast is complete without some seafood. Spend a few meals in Oban, the seafood capital of Scotland, or drive to several highlights along Scotland's official Seafood Trail featuring member purveyors and restaurants. 

Events in June

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, Portsoy. Traditional boats gather in Portsay's historic harbor to celebrate rowing and sailing with live music, crafts, and food and drink each June.

Moray Walking Festival, Moray. This festival takes place around Moray, known as Malt Whisky Country, which offers a diverse range of landscapes—perfect for walkers of all ages and abilities.

Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh. This annual fair in late June celebrates agriculture with plenty of animals on display, as well as crafts, flowers, and food and drink exhibits. 

Skye Food and Drink Festival, Isle of Skye. This celebration of food and drink highlights the Isle of Skye's unique variety of quality food and drink grown and produced here.

Crail Food Festival, Crail. Love seafood? This charming coastal village holds a food festival in June with a weekend's worth of fresh shellfish, as well as events and opportunities to meet local producers.

Traveling to Scotland in June? Check out these great itineraries

Hike Scotland's Highlands & Islands: Glen Coe, Ben Nevis & the Isle of Skye - 9 Days. This active hiking itinerary covers some of Scotland's most spectacular landscapes. Starting in the Highlands' heart and walking along the West Highland Way to scale Ben Nevis. After a memorable ride on the historic Jacobite Express Steam Train, board a ferry for the Isle of Skye to explore the rugged mountains, secluded coves, and idyllic villages of the Inner Hebrides.

Scenic Scotland: Edinburgh, Inverness & Skye - 7 Days. Blending a self-drive adventure with unforgettable guided excursions and experiences, this itinerary introduces Scotland's most scenic locales. Step back in time at the Culloden Battlefield, cruise the legendary waters of Loch Ness, and tour whisky distilleries on the Isle of Skye.

More Helpful Information

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Best Time of Year to Visit Scotland
How Many Days to Spend in Scotland